Swift Run Gap Ranger Station/Spottswood Pyramid Marker
22596 Spottswood Trail, Elkton, VA 22827
Swift Run Gap ranger station is located at mile 65.3 on the Skyline Drive. Travelers along Route 33 can enter the Shenandoah National Park at this point. Swift Run Gap is a long-used and historic crossing in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Appalachian Trail is easily accessed at Swift Run Gap, and information about the trail is available at the Ranger Station.
Rangers are available to answer the questions of tourists and provide information about the park. A historical plaque and stone mark the historic crossing of the mountains in 1716 by Governor Alexander Spotswood.
In the 1700’s Virginians had begun to worry that the French would settle the western lands and to encourage families to settle in the mountain lands, an expedition to cross and chart the area was planned and executed by Spottswood. Along with 62 other men and 74 horses, Spottswood is believed to have crossed the Blue Ridge at Swift Run Gap and traveled to the Shenandoah River successfully. After the journey Spottswood was believed to have given each member of the expedition a pin made of gold and shaped like a horseshoe on which he had inscribed the words, “Sic jurat transcendere montes” (“Thus he swears to cross the mountains.”)
Spottswood’s expedition and the legends surrounding it proved compelling to settlers and provided the impetus for further discovery and settlement of the lands which eventually formed the state of West Virginia.